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Chicago theft defense attorneyIt should come as no surprise that taking property that does not lawfully belong to you is a criminal offense, and in Illinois, you could face misdemeanor or felony theft charges depending on the circumstances. However, you may be unaware that simply having stolen property in your possession can also be a crime, even if you are not the person who originally stole it. It can come as a shock to be charged with possession of stolen property, especially if you were not aware that it was stolen. In these cases, you should work with an attorney who can help you present a strong defense to the charges you are facing.

Illinois Law Regarding Possession of Stolen Property

The Illinois Criminal Code defines several different actions that are considered criminal theft. Most of them involve actively seizing another person’s property, whether by threat, force, deception, or without the person’s knowledge. However, state law also makes it a crime to “obtain control over stolen property” if the recipient knows that it is stolen or should reasonably be aware that it is stolen.

This means you could be charged if someone tells you they stole something and gives it to you or asks you to hold onto it, but you could also be charged even if you were not told directly that the property was stolen. If you are sold property at a price that seems too good to be true, or if someone tries to sell you a car without title documentation, for example, you could be held responsible for failing to recognize the suspicious nature of the transaction.

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Oakbrook Terrace criminal defense attorney aggravated assault

Under Illinois law, the crime of assault is defined as “knowingly engag[ing] in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery,” or in other words, threatening a person with physical harm. Assault is generally treated as a less serious offense than battery, which is the actual act of physically harming another person. However, if the assault involves the use of a deadly weapon, it may result in more significant consequences. If you have been accused of assault, your attorney can help you protect your rights and understand the extent of the criminal charges you may face.

Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon

In Illinois, simple assault is a Class C misdemeanor, with possible penalties including up to 30 days of imprisonment and fines between $75 and $1,500. However, a variety of factors can increase the charges to aggravated assault, and many of these factors involve the use of a deadly weapon. For example, threatening harm to someone while brandishing a weapon such as a firearm, knife, or another object capable of deadly force, is considered a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum imprisonment sentence of one year. Other forms of assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as a felony, including:

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Rolling Meadows assault defense attorney

The words “assault” and “battery” are often used together when discussing criminal charges – so much so that it is understandable if you do not know the difference between the two. You may think that both of them involve causing physical harm to another person, but you can assault a person without ever touching them. There can also be a difference between assault and battery when it comes to the level of charge. A battery charge is potentially more serious than if you are charged with assault.

Understanding Assault

Illinois defines assault as causing someone to reasonably believe that you may physically harm them. A conviction is a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of as much as $1,500 and either as long as 30 days in jail or 30 to 120 hours of community service. You can be charged with aggravated assault if you:

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Posted on in Theft

Different Levels of Theft ChargesTheft is a criminal charge that varies in punishment depending on the details of the offense. A conviction for theft can range from a misdemeanor to the highest level of a felony. Illinois law classifies its theft charges based on how much was stolen, how it was stolen, and where the theft took place. Facing a misdemeanor or felony charge could change how you contest the charge against you and whether you may be willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Value of Theft

The lowest-level theft charge is a class A misdemeanor and is defined as theft of $500 or less and not from the owner’s person. A conviction could result in less than a year in prison and fines of no more than $2,500. Retail theft often falls in this category. A second theft conviction is a class 4 felony, punishable by one-to-three years in prison. Thefts that are greater than $500 are also felony offenses in Illinois:

  • Theft greater than $500 and no more than $10,000 is a class 3 felony, punishable by two-to-five years in prison;
  • Theft greater than $10,000 and no more than $100,000 is a class 2 felony, punishable by three-to-seven years in prison;
  • Theft greater than $100,000 and no more than $500,000 is a class 1 felony, punishable by four-to-17 years in prison;
  • Theft greater than $500,000 and no more than $1 million is also a class 1 felony but is non-probational; and
  • Theft of more than $1 million is a class X felony, punishable by six-to-30 years in prison.

All felony theft convictions can also include fines of as much as $25,000.

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